TrendBasket’s BCL Podcast has Bonzie Colson, the US-born star of SIG Strasbourg, over for its eighth episode. A significant part of the Group E winner touched on a variety of topics with Kemal Rutkay Özcan.
The success of Strasbourg, the spike in Colson’s scoring numbers, Bonzie Colson and his relationship with the guards of Strasbourg, last season with Darüşşafaka, and the matchups on his mind for the Playoff phase were widely discussed. The 25-year-old forward also gave advice to the younger players who are about to or considering playing overseas.
You can listen to the podcast on SoundCloud and Spotify.
Here are the highlights of the 28-minute long conversation:
“It was a great group and we’re excited to be on top”
“All the teams were really good within our group. A lot of games came down to the last game they played. Besides our game, if they win or lose, they advance. This shows how well-balanced the league was. Any given night, any team could win.
Our organization and coaching staff did a great job of preparing us for each game. We took ownership of that and just made sure that we locked in on what they do. On the offense, we just continued to play our game. It was a great group and we’re excited to be on top.
I’ve always had these (scoring) qualities within myself. Last year, I’ve had a big reality check of what it’s like to play overseas, in terms of cultural shock, language barrier, quality, and talent level. I think I’m a lot more comfortable with playing over here. Taking what I learned from last year, being with Daçka, the style of play overseas, seeing what my shots can be, I’ve tried to work on those things last summer. [Despite] COVID, I was working out every single day. I guess (the spike in my scoring numbers) is just the hard work that I’ve put in and it’s great to see.
Every game, my mindset is to play as best as I can. I just attack whoever’s guarding me, no matter who it is. I play every game like it’s my last. I don’t think that’s just my mindset, that’s the mindset of our team. Every shot I take, I shoot with high confidence. And my teammates give me confidence. We have confidence within our group in taking the big shots. When you have high confidence within yourself and your teammates, that shows you’re a special group.”
“Darüşşafaka will always have a special place for me”
“Gary (Browne) was a great PG, who could pass and score. DeAndre (Lansdowne) and Brandon (Jefferson) bring a different dynamic to our team; they bring leadership; they bring confidence. And they bring it every day in practice, pushing each other, which carries over to the games. They’re great to have and learn from. And I’m like the sponge. … it’s just an overall good kind of group that we have and it starts with our guards.
[Darüşşafaka] was great; the organization, teammates were great. We had a lot of vets. Sinan (Güler), Erkan (Veyseloğlu), a lot of guys who know what it takes to be successful in the Turkish League and in EuroCup. That was a great experience. It was my first overseas team. I’ll always remember the ups and downs we all have gone through as a team. They’ll always have a special place for me. Me and Doğuş (Özdemiroğlu), me and Berk (Demir), we’re talking here and there, trying to keep in touch. Nothing but love, positive vibes going their way.”
Bonzie Colson: “Champions League is exceptional this year”
[On why he chose Strasbourg] “Being in the Champions League – I definitely wanted to play somewhere with two leagues – and I played against DeAndre last year, I kinda knew Ishmail (Wainright) from the college, so I kinda knew guys and I just wanted to play. There were a lot of teams that we were talking to but [Signing with Strasbourg] was the best option for me in terms of everything.
The Champions League is a great [competition] and I think it’s close. You have EuroLeague, obviously, but the Champions League is right there. A lot of really good players, a lot of really good teams. In each game, you never know what can happen. It’s an exceptional league this year.
I played against Nick Johnson, back when I was in the G-League, so I don’t mind playing against Nick again. … [I played with] Mahir Agva from Karşıyaka and I’d like to play against the guys that I’ve played with.”
Advice to youngsters from Bonzie Colson
“There’s this vibe in the States that going overseas is bad, like ‘Don’t do it!’. That’s the vibe I’ve kinda got. First of all, you get to travel to different countries to play the game. And people that are players here are legit. You have OGs, you have vets who have played all across Europe, who know the game, who are in their 30s and play like they’re 22. The competition is at its highest. When you get here, it takes a special person to keep your mind on your goal. Understand that and take it in.
Nothing worth having is easy. You’re gonna have ups and downs; you’re gonna have moments like ‘Dang, I wanna go back to the States’. Every American has it. It’s normal. You miss your family; you miss your friends, but you gotta make these little sacrifices in order to make your dreams come true. There’s nothing wrong with playing overseas. Money’s good, you get to play the game; you get to travel; you get to try new food, develop friendships with teammates and players all across Europe. It’s a great way to play the game.
[Going back to the NBA] is on my mind. I’d love to play there. That’s the goal I’m trying to reach. I’m trying whatever I can to get back.”